Puberty and boys

Puberty is when a your body begins to develop and change as you become an adult. Girls develop breasts and start their periods. Boys develop a deeper voice and facial hair will start to appear. The average age for girls to begin puberty is 11, while for boys the average age is 12. But it’s different for everyone, so don’t worry if you reach puberty before or after your friends.

First signs of puberty in boys

The first sign of puberty in boys is usually when the testicles get bigger and the scrotum begins to thin and redden pubic hair also starts to appear at the base of the penis.

Later signs of puberty in boys

After a year or so of puberty starting, and for the next couple of years:

  • the penis and testicles grow and the scrotum gradually becomes darker (read more about penis health)
  • pubic hair becomes thicker and curlier
  • underarm hair starts to grow
  • boys start to sweat more
  • breasts can swell slightly temporarily – this is normal and not the same as “man-boobs”
  • boys may have “wet dreams” (involuntary ejaculations of semen as they sleep)
  • their voice “breaks” and gets permanently deeper – for a while, a boy might find his voice goes very deep one minute and very high the next
  • boys often develop acne – a skin condition that shows up as different types of spots, including whiteheads, blackheads and pus-filled spots called pustules
  • boys go through a growth spurt and become taller by an average of 7 to 8cms, or around 3 inches a year, and more muscular
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